When it comes to your metabolism, there’s no “magic pill” that will automatically speed it up. There aren’t any foods or specific diets that have been proven to increase metabolism. What helps increase metabolism for one person may slow it down for another because we all have different genetics and use energy from foods differently. With that being said, there are some adjustments you can make to your diet that may support your metabolism by helping your body burn more calories, build muscle, and lose weight.
One of the most important strategies to improve your metabolism is to eat plenty of foods that are high in antioxidants. These help protect your cells from damaging inflammation, which has the potential to promote weight gain and cravings for unhealthy foods. Grapefruit and green tea, for example, are foods that have been associated with better metabolism due to the antioxidants they contain.
Another diet strategy to make over your metabolism is to eat foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Not only do both of these help lower inflammation, they’re also known to increase levels of leptin, which is a hormone that promotes feelings of fullness. Fiber and fatty acids tend to take more energy for your body to digest, which ultimately means your body burns calories while you eat them. Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, provide omega 3s, while plant-based foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are high in fiber.
Lastly, protein is an incredibly important nutrient to focus on if you’re trying to increase your metabolism. Many studies have shown that people who eat high-protein diets end up burning more calories throughout the day than those who do not eat a lot of protein. Animal foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products are high-protein foods, as are plant foods such as beans and lentils.
The bottom line is that your overall diet, lifestyle, genetics, and age is what determines how fast or slow your metabolism is. Making sure to focus on a healthy diet that includes a variety of nutrient dense foods (especially those that are high in protein, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber!) will do the trick. Additionally, you need to make sure to exercise regularly, sleep enough, and manage your stress in order to support your metabolism properly. Keep in mind that there are certain medications and illnesses that can hinder your metabolism as well. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about the rate of your metabolism—he/she can determine if there’s something underlying that’s slowing it down.
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